VIRGINIA BEACH, VA., (October 23, 2017) – Virginia is for lovers, as the saying goes. Now, there is one more thing to love about Virginia and that would be the lower gas prices. Currently, the average price for a gallon of regular gas is $2.25, which is two cents less than last week; 20 cents lower than last month, but still 15 cents more than last year. Gas prices for the Commonwealth have been steadily declining since mid-September. With Virginia ranking 10th in largest monthly decreases in gas prices, motorists have something more to look forward to as the holidays approach.
At the close of Friday’s formal trading session on the NYMEX, WTI increased 18 cents to settle at $51.47. As the week progresses, the oil market appear poised to continue making gains. Last week's EIA report noted a drop in crude inventories by 5.7 million barrels. The decrease is likely due to crude exports increasing to 1.8 million barrels per day, according to EIA. Moreover, as expected, crude oil demand in the U.S. is down by 1 million b/d from last year, while total crude inputs at U.S. refineries dropped by 819,000 b/d. Additionally, the U.S. rig count fell by 7, with the latest decline leaving 736 rigs active in the U.S., according to Baker Hughes, Inc. All of this data points toward weak domestic demand and decreased production of crude. As domestic crude demand slows, the ability to sell crude outside of U.S. markets through exports has helped push the price higher.
As the market gets tighter, market observers will closely watch this week's EIA report to see if the trends continue. Additionally, the upcoming OPEC meeting scheduled for November 30 in Vienna will also help the market assess the 2018 horizon for oil prices. At the meeting, OPEC and non-OPEC members who have agreed to cut production through March 2018 will discuss the status of the agreement and may decide to take additional measures to deepen the agreement’s market impact.
As part of North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA Tidewater Virginia provides its more than 330,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding AAA Tidewater Virginia has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. For more information, visit AAA.com and follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/AAATidewaterVA or on Facebook at facebook.com/AAATidewaterVirginia